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Radical Spirits: How the Occult Shaped Progressive Politics

January 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join PEN Award-winning historian and occult scholar Mitch Horowitz as he explores the spiritual roots of radical politics.

Atlas Obscura is excited to present a lively and intellectually vibrant presentation, with PEN Award-winning historian and occult scholar Mitch Horowitz, who will explore the little known historical ties between alternative spirituality and radical politics!

During this hour-long presentation, Mitch will dig into the connection between Spiritualism and the emergence of suffragism; the magickal system of hoodoo in the life of abolitionist hero Frederick Douglass; the trance medium who became America’s first female presidential candidate; the mind-power metaphysics of black nationalist pioneer Marcus Garvey; the socialist author behind “The Science of Getting Rich;” and more! Mitch unveils not only our shared secret history, but how occult figures and thought systems have shaped our response to the current moment. This is edge-of-your seat history—veritable and unknown.


Mitch Horowitz is a historian of alternative spirituality and one of today’s most literate voices of esoterica, mysticism, and the occult. He is among the few occult writers whose work touches the bases of academic scholarship, national journalism, and subculture cred. Mitch is a 2020 writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library, lecturer-in-residence at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles, and the PEN Award-winning author of books including Occult America; One Simple Idea; and The Miracle Club. Mitch’s book Awakened Mind is one of the first works of New Thought translated into Arabic. The Chinese government has censored his work. Twitter: @MitchHorowitz | Instagram: MitchHorowitz23


Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account. Atlas Obscura online experiences are recommended for attendees age 13+.

This online experience will be recorded. A temporary link to the recording will be provided in a follow-up email to all ticket holders within 72 hours after the event. Access to this recording will be available for seven days.

This event is one of Atlas Obscura’s Online Experiences. At Atlas Obscura, our mission has always been to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. Now, more than ever, there’s a need to stay connected—not only to our sense of wonder, but to each other.

We encourage you to follow and share the hashtag #AOExperiences for more incredible online experiences and our newest addition of Online Courses with Atlas Obscura and our friends. And check out AtlasObscura.com, the definitive guide to the world’s hidden wonders, to keep virtually exploring the world through the website’s atlas of amazing places, unique stories, and videos.